Economic Opportunity Challenge

Skills for America's Future: Changing Lives Through a Jobs-First Model

Skills for Chicagoland's Future

Drive economic mobility for over 10,000 low income families in 17 cities by scaling the proven Skills jobs-first model, with a focus on marginalized communities.

DOWNLOAD: Project Factsheet
Two-page overview of proposal
Competition Participation
Economic Opportunity Challenge
Workforce development
Current Work Location(s):
  • Rhode Island, United States
  • Illinois, United States
  • New York, United States
  • Michigan, United States
  • Massachusetts, United States
  • Colorado, United States
Priority Population(s):
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Ex-offenders
  • At-risk youth
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
  • 8. Decent work and economic growth
  • 10. Reduced inequalities

Executive Summary

The barriers to economic opportunity and social injustices millions of individuals faced prior to COVID-19 have only been exacerbated by the impact of the pandemic. Since March 2019, millions across the nation have become unemployed and feel helpless with nowhere to turn because they do not have a way to access the jobs and companies looking for talent. The Skills jobs-first model was created to address this access gap and the barriers skilled, job ready individuals face - of no fault of their own - but because they are unemployed, live in a certain area, or have a non-traditional background. The Skills model has eliminated barriers to employment for thousands of people in Chicago and Rhode Island, resulting in employment and access to economic mobility that was previously unattainable. The Skills model is proven to create pathways for economic mobility and can do so in cities and regions nationwide. With an investment of $10 million, Skills plans to intentionally expand into marginalized communities by replicating the model in 17 sites nationally, putting an additional 10,325 low-income individuals into meaningful employment in the next five years, resulting in an estimated $235MM in new income and increased economic mobility.

Organization Details
Lead Organization

Skills for Chicagoland's Future

Organization Headquarters
Illinois, United States
Organization ID
Annual Operating Budget
$5.1 to 10 Million
Number of Full-time Employees
26 to 50

Charity, fund, non-governmental organization, religious institution, school, or other entity